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More signs of new life for Tucson's downtown

Posted at 6:26 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 21:27:27-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - There are more signs of new life for Tucson's downtown.
 
The Rio Nuevo downtown redevelopment district approved a big new development today and heard updates on other important projects.
 
Some of the important downtown projects.
 
The Tucson Convention Center is remodeling for the new Tucson Roadrunners Ice Hockey Team.  The project manager says that's on budget and on time to turn over to the team October first.
 
The new Caterpillar Surface Mining and Tech Center. Negotiations are moving ahead to accept that land as a donation from the city. 
 
Life for the first time in many years.
 
A vacant lot has been a sore point for downtown redevelopment since the city tore historic buildings about ten years ago.
 
The spot is called the Thrifty Block for the old Thrifty Drug store that used the site for many years.
 
The recession delayed several development plans, but now developer Don Bourne is proposing a new building for the Thrifty Block with three and a half stories of restaurants, entertainment and office space.
 
Total cost should be about $17 million.
 
The Rio Nuevo board agreed to lease the land to the developer and kick in a $2.6 million dollar loan.  The board agreed the plan's a good deal for the Rio Nuevo Tax district because the sales tax the businesses should generate will more than repay Rio Nuevo's investment.
 
Hockey fans have a real affection for those Zamboni machines that condition the ice.  Part of the hockey update included the news TCC is getting two new Zambonis with a paint scheme yet to be determined.